Home Europe Afghanistan live updates: Europe’s nations wind down Kabul evacuations, Biden warns IS

Afghanistan live updates: Europe’s nations wind down Kabul evacuations, Biden warns IS

by editor

The head of the US military command has warned that more attempted terror attacks are expected, following the suicide bombings at Kabul airport.

At least 13 US soldiers were killed, as were scores of Afghan civilians. Reports on Friday raised the overall death toll to at least 85, with one unconfirmed account suggesting over 100 died.

Some 150 Afghans and 18 more American soldiers were injured in the bombings.

Joe Biden vowed that US forces would avenge the attacks by hunting down those responsible. The self-proclaimed Islamic State group (IS) has said it carried them out.

The US president also said the American evacuation mission will continue through to next week’s deadline for withdrawal. The UK and France have also vowed to continue flying people out on Friday.

Britain says its operation is in its final stages, while Paris now says its evacuations may continue beyond Friday night having previously said they would end by then. Most European operations were already being wound down before Thursday’s events.

The atrocities have been condemned around the world, from organisations as diverse as NATO and the Taliban.

See our live blog below for the latest updates:

“We will rescue the Americans; we will get our Afghan allies out, and our mission will go on,” President Biden said. But despite intense pressure to extend Tuesday’s deadline, he has cited the threat of terrorist attacks as a reason to keep to his plan.

The Taliban, back in control of Afghanistan two decades after they were ousted in a U.S.-led invasion following the 9/11 attacks, insist on the August 31 cutoff date.

The Trump administration in February 2020 struck an agreement with the Taliban that called for it to halt attacks on Americans in exchange for the removal of all U.S. troops and contractors by May; Biden announced in April he would have them out by September.

While the U.S. on Thursday said more than 100,000 people have been safely evacuated from Kabul, as many as 1,000 Americans and tens of thousands more Afghans are struggling to leave in one of history’s largest airlifts.

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